Monday, May 16, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday -- Grey Griffins Giveaway!

(Ooo, I like the alliteration in that title!)

Thanks to Shannon Whitney Messenger, who raved about them in this post from last year, I discovered The Grey Griffins by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis.  And I especially love their new series, The Clockwork Chronicles.  

Book 1, The Brimstone Key is now out in paperback!  Book 2, The Relic Hunters just pubbed in hardcover, both from Little, Brown, for ages 8 to 12.

Source: advanced reading copies from the publisher

Synopsis of Brimstone Key (from the publisher):  

A brand new adventure starring The Grey Griffins!

Max---the leader
Natalia---the brains
Ernie---the changeling
Harley---the muscle

A year ago, the Grey Griffins were just regular kids from Avalon, Minnesota. That was before they learned about the existence of evil fairies, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night. Now they are monster-hunters, celebrated heroes, and allies to the legendary Templar knights---but even heroes have to go to school. When the Griffins enroll at Iron Bridge Academy, a school to train young recruits in the fight against the forces of evil, they find themselves at the center of a whole new adventure. The Clockwork King, a Templar foe from days past, has returned to finish the plan he set in motion decades ago. A plot to steal the souls of changelings---humans infused with fairy blood and supernatural abilities---in order to power his army of clockwork war machines. In The Brimstone Key, authors Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis deftly blend the mystical wonder of steampunk with magic and adventure to create an action-packed thrill ride.

Why I liked it:   It's fun! Nonstop action and adventure with four great characters who always have each other's backs.  I love the world that Derek Benz and Jon Lewis have created, filled with magic and high-tech gadgetry.  I'm a sucker for books about kids with special talents attending a prestigious academy, and no, this is definitely not Harry Potter!  The steampunk element really ratchets up the excitement. And there are plenty of sly inside jokes, like when Ernie has to report to Sendak Hall.  So clever.  My hat's off to Derek and Jon.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Whitney Messenger

Other regulars:
Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at The Night Writer
Sherrie Petersen at Write About Now
Natalie Aguirre at Literary Rambles
Brooke Favero at Somewhere in the Middle
Deb Marshall at Just Deb
Ally Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy
Barbara Watson at Novel and Nouveau
Anita Laydon Miller at her middle grade blog
UPDATE: adding Michael G-G at Middle Grade Mafioso

And now for the Giveaway!

As a bookseller, I often get to meet really cool people. Derek and Jon stopped by the bookstore recently, and since, uh, there weren't many customers (it was kind of a last minute stop for them), they talked to me and another bookseller for a while and then both got busy signing stock and sprucing up my display in their own unique way.  Thanks, guys!

While Jon was busy drawing this poster for the bookstore...

Our unique table display, thanks to Jon and Derek!

Enlarged to show the detail of Max Sumner and Sprig!

...Derek concentrated on drawing original illustrations next to the half title pages in The Brimstone Key and The Relic Hunters

And because of their visit, I'm excited to offer a
fantastic giveaway this week.

One SIGNED hardcover copy of The Brimstone Key goes to one lucky winner.  


One SIGNED hardcover copy of The Relic Hunters goes to ANOTHER lucky winner.  

These aren't merely signed by both authors.  They're decorated with original art by Derek Benz. They look like this:

Grey Griffins The Clockwork Chronicles Book 1: The Brimstone Key

Grey Griffins The Clockwork Chronicles 2: The Relic Hunters

All you have to do to enter is:

1) Be a follower 
2) Comment on this post

That's it!  Easy, right?  This giveaway is open internationally and will end at 11:59 pm EDT on Friday May 20, 2011.  I'll let randomizer pick two lucky winners. 

UPDATE: This giveaway is now CLOSED.  I'll announce the winners on Monday May 23.

*and don't worry -- you're not taking my copies.  I have THIS:


  1. Shannon turned me onto The Brimstone Key too. I won it in a contest. I really enjoyed it too and found no trouble reading it even though I hadn't read the prior books.

    I'd love to win The Relic Hunters. Thanks for the contest That's awesome you got to meet the authors.

  2. This sounds like a series I would enjoy. I would love to win The Brimstone Key :)
    I follow you via GFC (Throuthehaze)
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  3. Thanks for the great giveaway! I've never heard of these books before, but they look like ones that I'd like to read. Those illustrations look really cool, too.

    I'm a GFC follower (SusieBookworm).

    susanna dot pyatt at student dot rcsnc dot org

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks for entering the contest, everyone. And welcome to my blog, throuthehaze and suziebookworm.

    I'll see what I can do about giving each of the two winners the book they want! No guarantees here. But depending on how many entries I get before Friday, I may have to make two lists for randomizer.

  6. wow the books look amazing im a big reader and have a facebook page called best books were i try and get everyone to read we also do monthly give aways:D
    thanks for the amazing give away i would love to win The Brimstone Key :D

  7. Sounds like a great series for my son!

  8. Oh my gosh...did you hear that SQUEE all the way from up in here in Alberta?? First off, I love this series. LOVE it. I should have added that to my, "Fall in Love with Books Right Away" list, lol.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway...and how cool that they dropped by your store!

  9. Welcome, Annmarie and Doc Blue.

    And hi Deb! Was that what that sound was? Hahaha.

    Thanks for entering, everyone.

  10. There are so many wonderful books I haven't heard of (I even have kids who are avid readers, I'm an avid MG reader myself, and we go to the library and bookstores ALL the time)! Thanks for sharing these, and what great-give-aways!

  11. I own the Brimstone Key, but would love to win the Relic Hunters. Thanks for the opportunity!

  12. I love Jon and Derek's books - thanks for the give away!

  13. Awesome illustrations! How fun! I haven't heard of this series until now. I'm always on the lookout for my kids. THANKS for the giveaway!


  14. I've absolutely been wanting to get my hands on these. The illustrations are fabulous!!
    new follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  15. I am a new follower to your blog and i find it very entertaining and helpful.!I found your blog through Jon s Lewis's tweet. I have read Invaison by Jon s Lweis and enjoyed it and after reading reading your post/review I really want to read the Grey Griffins books now! Fingers crossed for the contest :) thank you for the information!

  16. Thanks for the great review and giveaway!

  17. Those illustrations are brilliant and so cool that you got to meet them. I really enjoyed brimstone and would love to win this. Oh and I just finished Divergent by Roth. Loved it. It was your review that had me drooling to get it. You always have fabulous picks.

  18. Wow, thanks, everyone. Have been offline all afternoon and came back to discover all these new followers! Woot! Finally reached 100 plus (took me long enough *coughcough*)! Thanks so much and welcome to the blog. And thanks to old followers for commenting. I obviously owe Jon S. Lewis a debt of gratitude for tweeting about the giveaway.

    Good luck to all of you!

    (Brooke, glad you liked Divergent. Thanks for the compliment!)

  19. Very cool! Love all the spontaneous art!

  20. Omigosh, those are so cool! Who got to keep the awesome poster? :P

  21. Welcome, Sarah, and thanks.

    Hi Sherrie. The poster stays in the store, of course. :))

  22. hi miss joanne! wow! those guys are way cool for sure. could you believe i won the brimstone key on my shannon messengers blog a long while back but not a signed one. its a really cool book. its real exciting and you cant hardly put it down. now i could hope to win that next book the relic hunters. for sure its gotta be just as exciting. thanks for a cool give away. i got my finger crossed that i could be a lucky winner. :)
    ...hugs from lenny

  23. Hey, Lenny! Thanks for entering. Good luck!

  24. O my! Salivation City. This series looks fantastic--and I love the authors' drawings. This would be a prize indeed!!

    I want to go to your book store, Joanne! (Anywhere near Portland, Oregon?)

  25. I guess not... I just glanced at your profile and see you are in Pennsylvania. Oh well, if I ever go east, I'll be certain to look you up.

  26. This sounds awesome! And the author's art is really amazing!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  27. WOW- how talented are they?
    I'd love to win a copy!

  28. Thanks, Michael, Aik, and Kat.

    It IS cool to be able to offer books that are not only signed by both authors but drawn in by one of them. Not every author is also a talented artist!

  29. Wow, we never have anyone cool like these guys visit our local bookstores.

    I'd love to enter.

    stinalindenblatt (at) shaw (dot) ca

    I'm a follower. :D

  30. Hi Stina! Hahaha, yes I know you're a follower. Thanks for entering. Good luck.

    Sorry your local bookstores don't have cool authors. Ask the manager!